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KS3 Lesson Plan - A27 Road Signs Game

Introduction

This game was developed with engineers from National Highways to showcase the importance of road safety. Students will use Microsoft MakeCode to change road signs depending on the scenario on the road.

Learning Objectives

  1. Use MakeCode to program road signs to respond to the different scenarios.

  2. Gain an understanding of the different kinds of jobs involved to keep a busy road safe. 

  3. Gain a basic understanding of how coding can change game play elements.

Guiding Ideas and Questions

  1. Why is it important to keep road users notified of events on the road ahead?

  2. Out of the jobs you've learned about, which one would you most like to do and why?

Performance expectations

In the game, players will be expected to use MakeCode to create road signs that respond to the two different scenarios on the road. They will also be learning about the variety of job roles involved, along with facts about other road schemes. 

Lesson Structure

To help you plan your lesson structure, watch this video and be taken step by step through the game. The below notes provide additional guidance.

Roughly 45-minute-long lesson - can be longer or shorter depending on what works best for the class.

Students have video guides for each lesson, but teachers/facilitators can use this as a guide to follow along with, or if they chose not to use the video guide for some/all the lesson.

The game begins once the students are all logged into Minecraft Education Edition and loaded into the A27 Viaduct Game.

Part 1 –

Students will spawn into the National Highways offices. Here they can interact with the NPCs (non-player characters) who will either give them bits of information or say generic greetings.

Allow them to explore for 5 minutes.

At the end of the 5 minutes get them to go to the corner office, find ‘Andy’, and wait there. They are not to click on the character, or teleport to the scheme, until the next part.

Part 2 –

Get the students to click on Andy. They will be given two options for the next part. They must click the button that says Key Stage 3.

They will then be teleported to the virtual road scheme. Here they should interact with the first NPC who will give them more instructions. They can then go into the portacabin to find the NPCs that give them different facts and interact with the job role NPCs that are around the map.

Allow them 10 minutes to explore the scheme, talk to all the NPCs who give facts, and all NPCs that represent different job roles.

At the end of the 10 minutes, they can go inside the portacabin to begin the game.

Part 3 –

Allow 25 to 30 minutes to complete the task. They will be using MakeCode to change the road signs depending on the scenario that is happening on the road. Outside the portacabin there are two buttons, one for the ‘car scenario’ and one for the ‘lorry scenario’. Before they open MakeCode get them to press the ‘car scenario’ button and they will see a broken-down car appear on the road. They need to code the road signs to show that the left lane is closed. Once they have done this, they will do the same with the ‘lorry scenario’ but here they need to change the signs to both lanes closed. The video guide will then explain how to do this step by step. Either the students can watch the videos individually and complete it in their own time, or the teacher can play the video to everybody and stop at each point to make sure everybody is following along.

The final code should look as follows –